세션 2

In this session you're going to read about a difficult cycle ride for Maria and an unfortunate bathroom incident. If you had been planning to do anything else why not put it off it and learn about the past perfect continuous instead?

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엑티비티 1

The past before the past

In these sessions we're looking at the past perfect continuous. You may also hear it called the past perfect progressive, it's exactly the same thing.

Let's start with a story about a girl called Maria.

Last Sunday when Maria woke up and looked outside the weather was fine. There wasn't a cloud in the sky but there were puddles in the street and the garden was wet. It had been rainingShe had been planning to go for a ride on her new bike but she decided to wait until it had dried up. She didn't want to get her bike dirty.

There are two examples of the past perfect continuous here: it had been raining and she had been planning.

Let's take a closer look.

Question: When did Maria look out of the window, now or in the past?
Answer: In the past, last Sunday.

Question: At this time in the past was it raining?
Answer: No, the weather was fine.

Question: There were puddles in the street, so when did it rain? Before, after or the same time as Maria looked out of the window?
Answer: Before she looked out of the window.

Question: So, why was the street wet?
Answer: Because it had been raining.

This example shows us that we use the past perfect continuous to talk about something that was happening over a period of time up to or before another point in the past.

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Making the past perfect continuous

Now we know what it is, let's take a quick look at how we make it. The past perfect continuous follows this structure:

subject + 'd/had/hadn't + been + present participle (-ing form)

John went to the doctor because he'd been having trouble sleeping.
We hadn't been waiting long when the taxi arrived.

For the question form we just switch the subject and the had auxiliary:

Had/hadn't + subject + been + present participle

Had you been drinking when you fell off your bike?

Past perfect continuous and the past simple

The past perfect continuous is often seen in sentences that also contain the past simple. They have a very close relationship. The past simple tells us about the most recent past activity and the past perfect continuous tells us what had been happening before that time.

The past perfect continuous is useful for giving background information, explanations for and context to a past situation.

Michal was exhausted (past simple) because he had been working (past perfect continuous) all night.

It was clear the twins had been fighting (past perfect continuous) despite what they told (past simple) their mum.

Up until the stock market crashed (past simple) property prices had been rising steadily (past perfect continuous).

To do

In the exercise that follows you are going to read some more about Maria and her bike trip last Sunday.

In each question you need to fill the gap with the best answer. The answers will either be the past perfect continuous or the past simple.

Good luck!

Maria's ride

6 Questions

How perfect is your past perfect continuous? Choose the best option to complete each sentence.

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Excellent! Great job! 네 안타깝군요 이번 점수입니다:
x / y

Next

How did you do? Really well, I hope. Now, if you're ready for some more, click to the next activity to read more about the past perfect continuous and how it compares to the past perfect simple.

이번 세션 문법

  • Making the past perfect continuous

    To make this verb form follow this pattern:

    subject + 'd/had/hadn't + been + present participle (-ing form)

    John went to the doctor because he'd been having trouble sleeping.

    We hadn't been waiting long when the taxi arrived.

    Question form

    Had (not) + subject + been + present participle

    Had you been drinking when you fell off your bike?